The US economy has made significant progress since the coronavirus pandemic first brought activity to a standstill, with more Americans getting the vaccination and federal stimulus bills providing money for consumers to spend.
“The economy has come a long way compared with a year ago,” says National Retail Federation chief economist Jack Kleinhenz. “Both monetary policy set by the Federal Reserve and fiscal policy set by Congress and the White House have responded with swift and overwhelming force to support the economy. NRF is optimistic that the recovery is accelerating and the needed rebuilding of the economy is underway. The rate of vaccinations is ramping up, and the numbers paint an increasingly encouraging picture.”
The NRF reports that this time a year ago, 22 million Americans had lost their jobs in two months, unemployment shot from a 50-year low of 3.5 percent to 14.7 percent and economic output fell by 31 percent. Today, more than half the jobs lost have been recovered, the Federal Reserve expects gross domestic product to grow 6.5 percent this year and household net worth has risen to $122.9 trillion.